Californian Court to Accept a Settlement of $500 Million for Apple’s Throttling

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated June 16, 2021

The U.S. District Court of San Jose in California is reviewing a preliminary class-action settlement proposal that suggests that Apple should pay users of older iPhone devices $25 each. The minimum total payout of this proposal is $310 million, and the maximum can reach up to $500 million. This will cover the US-based owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus and the SE. According to the Reuters who reported on the story, the lawyers who represented the consumers consider the settlement to be reasonable, fair, and adequate.

The experts that had consulted the lawyers on the amount of the maximum possible damages put the figure to $46 per iPhone, so the settlement can be considered satisfactory. However, the plaintiffs will also seek up to $93 million in legal fees, and another $1.5 million for their expenses. Experts in legal matters estimate that Apple accepted to pay the aforementioned amounts and see the end of this story, as taking matters on the Supreme legal authority would just raise the final bill, considering that they don’t have a strong case this time.

The class-action lawsuit was submitted after the iPhone owners discovered that upgrading from iOS 10.2.1 to iOS 11.2 resulted in an inexplicable slow-down of their phones. Apple responded by saying this was intentional, to protect the user experience from interruptions caused by fatigued older batteries. Consumer protection organizations saw this as planned obsolescence and bashed the phone maker. In October 2018, the Italian anti-trust authorities fined Apple €10 million for engaging in dishonest commercial practices and for accelerating the substitution of older models, while last month, the French consumer protection fined Apple €25 million for similar reasons.

Apple apologized, lowered the price for replacement batteries from $79 to $29, stopped the throttling action on older devices, and promised to be more transparent with similar cases in the future. More than 11 million iPhone owners replaced their batteries back then, but all that didn’t stop angry users from taking part in the class-action lawsuit against Apple. Now, the case will require the final approval of the Judge Edward Davila, who will most probably accept Apple’s consent to pay the $500 million and settle the litigation.

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